Design Stellwerk Projekt GmbH
Location Offenbach, Germany

Stadium feelings

This location is unique: the Zweckverband Wasserversorgung Stadt und Kreis Offenbach ZWO has been given its quarters in the grandstand area of the Offenbach stadium, which is undoubtedly a small experience for customers and employees alike. The designers from STELLWERK architekten had a total area of 535 square metres at their disposal at the start of their planning, in order to bring together various functions such as customer service and administration with 20 employees, as well as storage and archiving for the first time. Combined with selective warm orange and red effects, blue in subtle shades dominates everywhere as the main colour. Its significance is revealed in the louvre wall behind the reception counter, which works with a strong white contrast: It is about the valuable water from the supplier ZWO.

Work islands

A waiting area for customers and two small counselling offices are located next to it. The internal office structure is characterised by a flexible and open, elongated arrangement of work areas. After the client had defined four working groups with differentiated content, the interior concept developed a separate “island” for each group, whereby the space should continue to be perceived as an open space in order to promote a sense of community and impulsive communication. The half-height parapets of these compartments are acoustically effective due to their surface perforation, which is further supported by textile-covered tops. Between them are transparent management offices on the sides, while two small counters facing the corridor offer the opportunity for quick customer contact. Various seating options at the ends of the long room allow staff to make undisturbed phone calls or have a chat during breaks. As there are only two large windows facing the stadium, the partially glazed conference room and the staff kitchen with a cosy wall bench were positioned here.

"I don't want standard office space for my team ..."
— Managing Director ZWO

What do you consider to be the key qualities of a good workplace?
STELLWERK architekten: The basis of any consideration of quality is the awareness that we as humans are multi-sensory and emotional beings. Although purely functional approaches can improve processes and structures, they do not directly promote the well-being of people in the workplace and beyond. What we need is a more comprehensive approach that engages and satisfies us in a holistic way. We should create working environments that feel comfortable, that allow a view of nature or at least into the distance, and that are softer – an environment that balances the omnipresent technology and unfeeling functionality.
Do you see any similarities in interior design for living and working?
The similarities have always been there, but in recent years the boundaries have been pushed further. Basically, both areas are about creating a working environment that is close to people and supports them. At the same time, we should not neglect the special needs of the mind and body at work. The promotion of communication and concentration as well as the consideration of ergonomic aspects should play an important role. Last but not least, a well-designed working environment contributes to well-being and promotes identification with the workplace.
Which material-related aspects do you consider to be the most important for the future development of workspaces?
It is important to recognise that materials play a crucial role in shaping our environment, both now and in the future. Instead of continuing to think in terms of fixed forms and functions and turning them into lifeless, cold and smooth surfaces, we should use materials that improve the quality of our environment. We should create surfaces that feel good and invite us to touch them instead of distancing ourselves from them. In the same way, we should create structures and surfaces that absorb sound waves and thus enable pleasant acoustics. We need surfaces that capture the light and make it tangible. Material is the key word when it comes to quality of stay now and in the future.

ClientZWO Zweckverband Wasserversorgung Stadt und Land Offenbach
ArchitectsSTELLWERK architekten
Project typeModification/rebuilding
Gross floor area m2535
Number of employees20
LightingTom Dixon, Melt light; TOOY nabila
AcousticsTroldtekt acoustic panels
Workspace FurnitureMissana Block Sofa, Arper Cila chairs, Hay Revolver stool
Conference Furniture-
Lounge Furniture-
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